Cayenne Pepper Print

 

The cayenne pepper—also known as the Guinea spice, cow-horn pepper, aleva, bird pepper, or, especially in its powdered form, red pepper—is a red, hot chili pepper used to flavor dishes and for medicinal purposes. Named for the city of Cayenne in French Guiana, it is a cultivar of Capsicum annuum related to bell peppers, jalapeños, and others. The Capsicum genus is in the nightshade family (Solanaceae).

The fruits are generally dried and ground, or pulped and baked into cakes,

which are then ground and sifted to make the powdered spice of the same name.

Cayenne is used in cooking spicy dishes, as a powder or in its whole form (such as in Sichuan cuisine), or in a thin, vinegar-based sauce. It is generally rated at 30,000 to 50,000 Scoville units. It is also used as an herbal supplement, and was mentioned by Nicholas Culpeper in his 17th century book Complete Herbal.

Most cultivated varieties of cayenne, Capsicum annuum, can be grown in a variety of locations and need approximately 100 days to mature. Peppers prefer warm, moist, nutrient-rich soil in a warm climate. The plants grow to about 2–4 feet (0.6–1 metre) of height and should be spaced 3 ft (1 m) apart.

Chilis are mostly perennial in sub-tropical and tropical regions; however, they are usually grown as annuals in temperate climates. They can be overwintered if protected from frost, and require some pruning.

 

Buy Jalapeno Seeds

 

Grow Jalapeno seeds:

 

You can start your jalapeno plants indoors, using a seed tray. Keep the soil moist and the tray in a warm place. Seeds can take as long as 12 weeks to germinate and the seedlings are slow-growing.

 

If your climate permits, you can plant seeds directly into the ground in early spring. The soil should be well dug, and slightly alkaline. But jalapeno plants aren't as fussy about soil levels if they get plenty of water and sunlight.Plant your jalapeno seeds 24 inches apart in an area that receives six to eight hours of sunlight. Water frequently, keeping the soil moist but not too wet. You don't want the soil to become waterlogged, which can make it difficult for the roots to become established.

 

Once your seeds have germinated, and the seedlings are well-established, begin watering more deeply. Apply a nitrogen fertilizer, but not too close to the bases of the plants. You can find fertilizer appropriate for peppers in local home improvement stores.

 

Jalapeno flower

Jalapeno plants are slow to start; don't be discouraged. Jalapeno plants need to develop their branches and a profusion of green leaves before producing peppers. At this point, just water every two to three days, keeping the soil moist. Once you start to see small white flowers on the stems, you'll know the peppers are coming.

 

You should see the first of these white flowers about eight weeks after the plants become more developed. It may take a little longer, but don't worry. Once you see a few white flowers, you will see a lot of white flowers. The chili peppers come very quickly after that.

 

Harvested jalapenos

Jalapeno peppers can be harvested when they are 2 to 3 inches long and dark green. Sometimes they will grow as long as 5 inches, but a rule of thumb is the smaller peppers have more heat. You can allow the peppers to ripen to a bright red color for a sweeter taste before harvesting, but they will still be hot chili peppers.

 

You can harvest peppers from the plants as long as the plants continue to produce. As the weather cools, the plants will produce less and finally stop. At this point, if a plant is still healthy, you can cut it back. In an arid climate, you may get a second season and sometimes even a third season from a healthy jalapeno plant.

 

Growing jalapeno peppers isn't difficult. Plenty of sunlight, frequent watering and continual harvesting will keep your jalapeno plants growing and producing.

 

 

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